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Lord Sewel 'boasted of sex with BBC presenter and seeing 13 mistresses'

Published 28/07/2015

Lord Sewel has stepped down from the House of Lords
Lord Sewel has stepped down from the House of Lords

Lord Sewel, who has quit the House of Lords after being embroiled in a sex and drugs scandal, reportedly boasted of having sex with a BBC presenter.

The former Labour minister stepped down from the chamber after footage was released appearing to show him snorting cocaine with two sex workers at his property in central London.

Lord Sewell appears to be snorting cocaine
Lord Sewell appears to be snorting cocaine

A police investigation into the claims resulted in a three-hour-long search on the peer’s flat at Dolphin Square on Monday night, with officers leaving the building with several bags of evidence.

Additional footage of the alleged incident released by The Sun appears to show Lord Sewel, 69, bragging of having sex with a BBC presenter as he reveals her name and the programme she worked on.

“I had her in the attic,” he tells the sex workers.

“She was very young and it was very pleasant. Quite pleasant, yea it was nice you know, I liked her.”

The married peer went on to say that he has had 13 mistresses over a 20-year period. One was a Labour Party member who he claimed to have seen for two decades.

The unidentified presenter told the newspaper that the peer’s claims were “categorically untrue”.

Lord Sewel has since bowed to intense pressure to resign from the House of Lords entirely, after he stepped down as Deputy Speaker of the House earlier this week. He has now also relinquished his role as chairman of a House of Lords committee responsible for upholding standards.

As the chairman of Committees, he headed the Privileges and Conduct Committee which was tasked with judging the behaviour of disgraced politicians.

Had he not stepped down, the peer would have likely been the first to face an inquiry under new rules he helped to introduce. The measures are designed to ensure peers are expelled if they are found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

Under the rules, Lords are expected to act in the public interest and in accordance with seven general principles, including “personal honour”.

The code explains that while such a term has “never been defined” it “has not needed definition, because it is inherent in the culture and conventions of the House”.

In his resignation letter to Parliamentary officials, Lord Sewel apologised for the “pain and embarrassment” he had caused.

“The question of whether my behaviour breached the code of conduct is important, but essentially technical,” he said.

"The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords. I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the House by leaving it.

Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London, where Lord Sewel has a flat
Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London, where Lord Sewel has a flat

"As a subordinate, second chamber, the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear."

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